Turkey would not abide by the renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping industries, adding that they were aimed at “unbalancing the world,” President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday .
The comments came a day after Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran, abandoning a 2015 deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program. The U.S. measures temporarily allow some major customers, including Turkey, to continue buying Iranian crude.
Speaking to reporters in parliament, the Turkish president attacked the sanctions.
“These are steps aimed at unbalancing the world. We don’t want to live in an imperialist world. These issues will be put on the table at the summit (this weekend) in Paris,” Erdogan said.
“We will absolutely not abide by such sanctions. We buy 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas. We cannot freeze our people in the cold.”
Speaking in Japan earlier on Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister said it would be dangerous to isolate Iran, adding that it was not easy for countries like Turkey and Japan to diversify energy supplies.
“We do not believe any result can be reached with sanctions. I think meaningful dialogue and talks are more useful than sanctions,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
U.S. President Donald Trump aims to hit Iran’s economy and force it to abandon not only its nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile program but also its support for militant proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.
Erdogan will attend a summit to commemorate the end of World War I in Paris over the weekend, where he is expected to have talks with Trump over issues including the renewed sanctions and policy in Syria.